Out of my head? Out of my mind? Only for a moment. Stepping foot back onto somewhat solid ground, regained direction and focus. The last tour unintentionally opened a flood gate of unresolved shit I didn’t realize still existed as strongly as it did, and it’s requiring some massive purging and recalibrating of the core that drives me onward. I will not stop, I will not give up, and in death my energy will leave a permanent fucking mark on this world. This is a war I was bred for.
I’ve been home an hour. It’s now 7:01am. The last 48 hours of my life have been life altering to say the least. SHiT is over. Aaron and I have agreed to play the remainder of our shows through August. It was a mutual agreement, and we are going our separate ways. It’s a weird thing ending something where both people are saying “you don’t need me, I wish you the best, and I know you’ll do fine.”
I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised by now the way my life twists and turns with the closing and opening of doors. I get quicker at bouncing back, and whatever I take on next always seems to be more challenging and rewarding than what I walk away from. A lot of things happened on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012. The dark place my head has been drifting actually has little to do with the band ending. More so, SHiT was a great path for healing for the both of us, and even the negative is becoming a positive for me.
Through multiple outlets, a flood gate of emotional baggage has been pouring out of me lately. Mainly due to spending the last 4 months or so working on my Kickstarter campaign, which was the beginning of really digging into the core of my heart, and also because I made the decision after August of last year to quit using alcohol to numb my emotional bullshit. Other than a major slip up in Santa Cruz, I’ve stuck by the whole not drinking while upset or in a bad place in my head commitment that I made with myself.
Bottom line is that my inability to deal properly with my emotional baggage has affected every single facet of my life. It’s ruined friendships, bands, almost ended my marriage on numerous occasions, and I’m fucking done allowing it to get in the way. Granted, I have made a shit ton of fucking progress that I am not discounting in the least bit, but I am still on the up-climb of this fucking mountain.
In addition to the band terminating, on Tuesday I received some information that gave me 3 days to seriously contemplate my life that has absolutely nothing to do with music. Almost 8 years ago, I made a promise to people I love and care about, 1 especially who is part of my chosen family. Thicker than blood. I spent the following 3 days doing some serious soul searching, and asking myself some hard questions about my life and the place I’m in right now to see if I was even capable of fulfilling that promise. I’ve been on the road a lot, almost continually for the last 2 and 1/2 years of my life. There’s a lot of shit I’ve been neglecting in that time.
Family is supposed to come first in all things, but it hasn’t, and I kept telling myself that the sacrifices would be worth it…but 90% of the time when I’m home, all I do is shut everyone out. Again, I’m not talking about blood, I’m talking about the people who’ve helped to sew my head back together when the fragments felt as if they were spread too far beyond anyone’s reach. I’m really fucking good at shutting people out.
Anyway, I didn’t have to fulfill that promise, now is not the time. However, if that day ever does come, I want to be ready for it. I don’t want to have my head in my hands, questioning if I can even handle it.
With my head seriously clouded over, on Tuesday I broke out my camera, and used it as my therapist to dump all of my problems on. This was a raw purge, not holding anything back. Originally, I was just trying to record bits and pieces of a song I’ve been working on for years, in hopes to find some new lyrics.
Where do you go to?
Who do you turn to…
When all you wanna do is scream
For the world
After about 5 minutes of that, I started talking about why I wanted the world to stop, and out came the most profound and genuine breakthrough I’ve ever had. It started out with me screaming, “just how fucked up do you have to be? At what point does it register in your fucking mind that it’s okay to touch a fucking child? When does your brain just flip and throw all sense of reason out of your fucking head?”
I shared a piece of that video, combined with some footage I made on Thursday. The blog for that is called A Small Window Into Hell. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve cried as much as I have this last week since I was a child.
Wednesday, I had a really long talk with Dan, and told him that I finally trust him. I also confessed a long list of shit to him, because if I’m going to make any real changes, I need to start by completely trusting him. So I told him things I’ve never told anyone, things I couldn’t even admit to myself until I made that video. The end result? He still loves me, and he’s still not going anywhere. I could tell parts of it were hard for him. It’s really hard to admit and accept that you’ve been a totally selfish fucking cunt, and I told him about the pendant that I mentioned a few blogs back. It’s hard to face yourself, period. Dan says I’m too hard on myself, but someone has to be.
So I spent a lot of time in thought, and taking in everything that has happened and that I’ve been going through these last 4 months, all the shit that’s been coming up since I started the Kickstarter, the violence that came out of me while I was on tour, my marriage, the possibility of having to care for a child and how that would affect mine AND Dan’s life, just everything, where I need to go, what my next steps are…etc.
Then I drove South to Canby, OR, on Saturday afternoon, not really sure what to do, or what the outcome of the trip would be. Dan and I made the decision that if I was coming back with my godson, we would step up and face whatever comes, together, as a couple. For first time in a very long, I had no real concern about myself, and my entire focus was on the safety and well being of another human being. Does a lot to your fucking brain.
Just when I was starting to question my ability as a role model to victims of rape and abuse, I’m faced with a serious possibility of having to be responsible for a life that would be directly dependent on me keeping my shit together. Talk about facing your fears.
Upon arriving, and assessing the situation, there is a lot of work to be done, but my godson’s life and well being is not in danger, and I don’t need to step in. His father and I had the longest and deepest conversation we’ve ever had in 13 years. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. People make mistakes, happens all the time, and shit happens, but through love and honesty, anything can be achieved. So I poured out my heart, about how I felt, and I genuinely listned to everything he had to say. We both said some shit that was almost impossible to spit out. Part of it too, I really need to be around more, and make a serious effort to see my kids. I didn’t birth them, but they feel like they are mine, and I feel like I have a real responsibility here. It means I need to be involved, and make an effort to spend time. I shouldn’t be getting second hand information, I should be directly involved, because these two love me just as much as I love them, and kids need to be shown not just told. It really does take a village to raise a child.
I’ve been talking to my brother and sister-in-law so much about their kids since the divorce, but neglecting my responsibilities as well. Kids are resilient, yes…but they also remember everyone who made an impact on their life. I don’t take my role as godmother lightly, I never have, and if anything ever happens to their parents, I am literally the only person who can give them opportunities they never had. This isn’t some weird god complex thing, this is a serious and harsh reality. I was asked to be Zane’s god mom because they couldn’t rely anyone from their families for good reason, and out of everyone they knew, I was the only person who remotely had my shit together and would protect him no matter what. Live my life, yes. Forget about them, no.
So how far does protection go? Yesterday, some more information was put upon my plate, and I’m listening to my friend pouring her heart out, repeating words to me that I was pouring out on a fucking video tape only a few days prior, and now my path has been set. I made another promise. I am not fond of promises. I don’t believe in making things you can’t keep, which is why I tell people I’ll do my best in most cases, but no guarantees. Bottom line, I have to press forward with the message behind my Zebrana Bastard project, I owe it to every person who’s ever felt completely alone and ignored, but I also owe it to myself. I’m also going to start helping on cases for victims of child molestation, rape and abuse. They could really use more people to stand up and be a voice shattering the walls of silence. Music is an outlet, but the issue is just as real now as it was when shit happened to me, and I can not sit quietly on this issue any longer.
I left Canby around 11:30pm, and drove South instead of North…destination Donna. My grandmother. I knew she’d be home and awake. Sometimes Hoot-Owl Bingo takes place on Sunday nights, but somehow I just knew she’d be home. We talked for almost 3 hours. I told her specifically why I was angry with her, just as I was screaming and crying in the video, except with an indoor voice, and with love in my heart. I also told her it wasn’t her fault that Mike killed himself, because she needs to hear it, and no one else is going to tell her that. She blames herself for being a shitty parent, she blames herself for a lot of things, but she’s also the one who planted the seed of determination in me. The idea that we can rise against our upbringing and bring forth true and lasting change to the patterns of our family, and I believe it. I asked her about the article she wrote back in her sociology class.
I told her for all the bad that happened, the best thing she ever did was write that article, but somewhere along the way, she gave up and stopped working on herself, and fell back into old patterns. I love her for trying, I hate her when she tries to dodge responsibility. I think this was one of the most direct and specific conversations I’ve ever had with her. She told me she’d start writing her book, and there was honesty in her eyes. I told her if she was ever going to break the cycle for herself, she had to stop hiding things, and tell the whole story, no matter how much it hurts. The way out is through, and you need to forgive yourself so you can move on with your life, it’s never too late.
Then, for a moment, her eyes flashed blue with excitement, and she told me she’s going back to school. She’s 17 credits away from graduating, and she’s been about 3 times now. Underneath all of that pain and guilt, my grandmother is one of the most amazing women I have ever known. Strong, smart, and super artistic, it’s just trapped under years of hurt, guilt, and shame that she needs to purge. I both love and hate her. I hate her when spiteful words fall from her lips. I hate her when she lies to me…but the woman, the woman that’s underneath all of that, the woman that’s wanting so desperately to shine is so fucking amazing, and it tears me in two to feel the way I feel. We hugged each other tightly before we left. I told her I loved her, and that I really don’t want to hate her anymore, I want to be rid of these feelings, but she has to stop pretending like nothing happened to her, to us, to all of us.
And it is in this very moment, right now, as I type this…I read over the last paragraph and realize that it’s for the some of the same reasons I love and hate my grandmother that I love and hate me too. Gotta shed the grief, the shame, the guilt, it’s doing nothing for me. It does nothing for anyone.